The secret to losing weight involves 10 key essentials.
1. Healthy, satisfying eating starts with super salads, soups, whole grains, and fruit.
Start every lunch and dinner with a large, delicious salad or soup. Super-sizing actually makes good sense when applied to salads.
2. Eliminate high-calorie beverages.
One in every five calories we consume comes from a beverage—and those calories don’t do much to quell hunger. Soft drinks and frappacinnos are calorie-rich, but so are fruit juices. One glass of orange juice has twice the calories (100 to 110) of a whole orange (50) – or about the same as in a regular soft drink.
3. Trim portions of calorie-dense foods.
Every day enjoy large portions of water-rich, fiber-rich foods so that they’re satisfied and have less room for calorie-dense foods.By switching your morning bowl of corn flakes for a bowl of hot oatmeal and fruit, you’d take in approximately 250 fewer calories each day. That one simple change to your daily diet could help you drop about 25 pounds in one year.
4. Snack smarter.
Every snack counts—and choosing healthier options like yogurt and fruit will keep you satiated and energized without packing on the pounds. Eating just one less 100-calorie cookie a day can cause you to shed 10 pounds in a year.
5. Forget fast food; dine unrefined.
Fast food restaurants are part feed lots and part salt licks. Two large orders of fries and two regular soft drinks provide enough calories to sustain a 135-pound person for an entire day without eating anything else. Of course, no one exists on just two orders of fries and two soft drinks in a typical day, which is exactly why 135-pound Americans are an endangered species.
6. Watch less, walk more.
We were meant to chase lunch, not order it. If you walk an extra mile a day, you’ll likely lose 10 pounds in a year.
7. Go lean on meat, but catch a fish.
The absolute best fats for your heart are omega-3s, found in fish and flax seed oil. But no oil, even so-called “good” ones, should be considered a weight-loss food. Coating your salad with olive oil can tally up as many calories as two scoops of premium ice cream.
8. Shake your salt habit.
Excess salt intake is a major contributor to high blood pressure, yet most Americans ingest 4,000 to 5,000 milligrams of sodium a day—far more than the recommended 1,500 milligrams. Salt has snuck into all kinds of foods. Many breads contain more salt, ounce for ounce, than potato chips.
9. Don’t smoke your life away.
Every minute spent smoking shortens your life by a minute, not to mention the wrinkles and erectile dysfunction it causes. The good news is that you will gain back years of your life if you quit.
10. Step around stress.
The link between our emotions and health can’t be overstated. One study found that people who didn’t take annual vacations were 32 percent more likely to die of heart disease. Managing stress by getting enough sleep, making time for friends and loved ones, and trying techniques like meditation will help keep your heart and waistline in shape.
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